Report of the Director of Communications.
Members received a report of the Director of Communications regarding the Party Conference Update.
First and foremost, Members expressed their sincere thanks for the efforts made by officers to organise the various engagements across the party conferences, it was agreed that significant improvements had been made in recent years. The City’s involvement was far more established and was being recognised as part of London leadership more widely.
Concerns were raised about the accommodation in Manchester. It was felt the service was not at a satisfactory standard. Officers agreed that alternatives should be sought for future years.
Members suggested that it would be useful to come together on a daily basis, even for 30 minutes, to provide a debrief for their respective engagements that day. This would be in addition to the meeting on the first night, which was considered a helpful feature in the timetable.
It was also requested that arranging individual programmes would be beneficial in future. Wider membership beyond the Chair and Deputy Chairman would then have the opportunity to join specific fringe events, allowing them to learn as well as contribute. Resources could be deployed more effectively. It was noted that this year there were fewer private events.
The dinners were considered very valuable and there had been a lot of positive feedback received by attendees. It was noted that the two events drew in different audiences, with both feeding into different areas of our corporate objectives. There was, however, concern that the Chair’s speech at both events had been too similar, especially given the number of guests who attended both. They also should have been better tailored, with a relevant angle for the differing audiences.
The key themes from the conferences were shared under separate cover to Members of the Court of Common Council.
Main highlights of the Liberal Democrats’ virtual Conference were the party leader Ed Davey’s speech and, as an organisation, a successful City-organised roundtable on how local government can reach its goals for net zero.
At the Labour Conference, there were less attendees than in previous (pre-Covid) years. The Corporate Affairs Team felt the events were a success and that the Chair had engaged key shadow front benchers and spoke alongside them on the subject of financial services and contributions the sector can make towards sustainable finance.
At the Conservative Conference, there was a buoyant atmosphere with positive engagement that was more business focussed.
RESOLVED, that the update be noted.